* Posts by Neil_

29 posts • joined 5 Nov 2009

BT befriends Google's lonely TV dongle – and saves YouView

Neil_

I'd like a proper reason why the broadcasters don't like YouView. The linked article mentions they don't like BT/TalkTalk profiting from it... but what's wrong with that? At retail it (was) a £300 box, if someone wants to provide finance for it/lease it then good luck to them.

Seems a shame to waste all the effort that has gone into an open, scalable platform that works, is in homes and should become cheaper.

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Microsoft Surface priced up for Blighty

Neil_

Asus

Don't think you can compare this to the expensive Transformer Infinity, that has a much higher res screen.

Instead compare it to the Transformer TF300, which has a similar res to the surface and comes with keyboard dock for £379 from Amazon.

Less RAM but Android doesn't particularly need it. Yet.

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SurfTheChannel Brit movie pirate gets 4 YEARS' PORRIDGE

Neil_
Thumb Up

I think this has already happened to good effect. For example, Sky now go to efforts to get their US-imported shows to air as close as possible to their US airings - within days. If they wait months or even weeks everyone just gets it off torrents, the same week and a lot of people can't be bothered.

So win for the paying consumer.

Would they have bothered otherwise?

On a related note I bought the recent Batman Blu-ray set, disc in drive and movie almost plays straight away, no trailers/warning screens at all, just a couple of WB logos. Is this the producers actually listening to complaints and 'why it's more convenient to pirate' rants? If so: the paying customer wins again!

The paying customer has been on the losing side of this for so long, it's about time.

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Apple's UK smartphone lead shrinks

Neil_
Meh

Please don't tell me this 'inspired by nature' drivel actually works :-/

The S3 is an awesome phone, I don't need to be told it looks/sounds like a hummingbird hovering on a leaf by a waterfall.

Spend the money making the next phone even more awesome.

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Google brings HD sneezing pandas to UK: But why?

Neil_

Re: Remote = Extra Expense

Main problem with multiremotes especially Harmony is lag. Trying to browse about a grid, scroll through large lists or do some T9-style text entry is made much worse by even a little bit.

Browsing the web you really need a pointing device. Sony here have gone for a touchpad, LG have gone for a Wii-style pointer. Not sure which will win in the sofa environment, but a D-pad definitely doesn't cut it.

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Neil_
Go

Many TV manufacturers have made their own 'Smart TV' platforms, this is just another.

Hopefully it is better usability-wise than any of the others.

IMHO it is much better to have a common platform that can run the user's choice of apps than each manufacturer have their own platform with a tiny selection of apps requiring more effort to build.

Also IMHO it's better to have the 'smart' in a different box to the 'screen'. 'Smarts' get smarter quickly and so can justify an upgrade whereas screens generally do not.

RE 'content', Google have never suggested that they are in the TV-content business, can't really compare it to 'Project Canvas'.

The box runs apps from people who do - Netflix, Plex etc. - the Chrome browser has a decent Flash implementation, runs iPlayer etc. just fine.

So better than most 'Smart TV' platforms then.

The leg-up it does have is a global search - start typing the name of a show and it finds it across live TV listings, online services and your PVR.

If only Sony had included a dual-tuner Freeview+...

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Sony outs Google TV set-top box

Neil_
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No DLNA player?

Rubbish! :-/

Basic requirement for a set-top-box. I assume Sony's earlier GoogleTV devices have one.

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UK High Court split over Twitter airport bomb joke

Neil_

Re: FFS!

No they all agree he was just venting, they are arguing over whether someone should be punished (further) for posting what 'could be' deemed to be a threatening message over a public communications network.

The fact that it was dismissed by the airport security staff and no alert was raised is supposed to be taken into account by the judges... but most of them have still decided it falls on the wrong side of the law.

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NHS 'pays up to THREE times over the odds' for IT gear

Neil_

Re: So?

You're right, I'm one of those people, I don't understand, please explain?

(assume we're comparing the same high end model, not suggesting you get a cheaper, less reliable alternative... a 'Seagate Enterprise' 24x7 is a 'Seagate Enterprise 24x7' regardless of who posts it to you, right?)

As an aside, Crucial, really? I thought they had a good reputation for solid reliable RAM.

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Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

Neil_
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Party conferences?

So they're really busy with lots of important things, then they have almost a month off?

How important/useful are party conferences, relatively?

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Wi-Fi hack threat man pleads guilty

Neil_

Lucky he hired investigators

What would have happened if he hadn't hired his own tech investigators?

RE @Mike S:

> Log the MAC address, time, and nature of the packets coming and going...

If MAC-based security is used the evildoer will have to spoof one of the allowed addresses... easily done and then all that logging won't help :-/

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ITV, C4 catch-up players coming to PS3

Neil_

Bookmark?

So are these just bookmarks which open the browser to the standard flash-based website, just like with iPlayer?

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Why is Google's new Nexus S like no other smartphone?

Neil_
FAIL

@PaulR79, RE No import duty on phones?

It's actually very difficult to find out!

I bought the Nexus One when it came out so I tried to find out. Lots of roaming around the HMRC site, it mentions a huge list of item types several times but I couldn't find the list at all. Eventually I found a page that said to search the list you need to phone them.

So I did and a helpful chap looked it up and told me that it's classed as a 'computer item' (or some words like that) and there's no import duty on those.

There was VAT though, DHL sent the bill for that a couple of weeks after the phone arrived.

FAIL for HMRC website. Might be fixed now though, maybe...

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Neil_
Unhappy

@Gizzit101

No import duty on phones.

And 'a few day' carriage is about £30 - £35.

So yes, Rip Off Britain at it again.

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Minister 'C*nt' promises £50m to get fabtastic fibre for all

Neil_

Is this needed?

Is this whole thing actually about giving everyone superfast broadband, or about getting some acceptable coverage to those in the sticks?

It's important that all people in the country have 'internet access', yes, but how good does that have to be? Is 1MB enough? To browse the web, be educated and not be a ludddite, sure.

To watch TV-on-demand, maybe not... but should public money be paying for that?

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Samsung, Dixons herald huge tablet sales

Neil_

7"?

Pretty sure the Vega is 10" or 10.1".

Initial comments from people who managed to get one say it's good for the money, better than the Folio (which I tried and had awful screen response).

Kinda wish I'd ordered one now!

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ViewSonic tempts tablet triers with cash-for-kit deal

Neil_

Review?

Did you review the larger Viewsonic tablet, El Reg?

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Vodafone moves 360 goalposts

Neil_
Thumb Up

@AC 12:42

...or any handset you choose, most of which are cheaper than £500.

Also you can get the £10/mo on a monthly rolling 'contract' so you're free to switch provider should one offer a better deal.

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Neil_
FAIL

I wonder...

How's the campaign going to find ONE person that likes 360?

This was mentioned in a previous Reg article about the Desire 'firmware', it seemed they hadn't found anyone by then...

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Google TV mimics Android's closed openness

Neil_

Idea is nice

I'd like to be able do one search that shows results from shows I've recorded, upcoming shows, stuff on my media server, iPlayer/4OD, and carrier-specific stuff like Virgin's On Demand or Sky's Anytime. And integrate info from IMDB or TV.com.

And hey maybe some bloopers from Youtube if I'm drunk.

But that'll never happen, because Sky and Virgin are not going to hand over control of their boxes, no matter how rubbish/restricted their own interfaces are.

The TV channels won't like it either because then there might be accurate stats on viewing figures...

It would make a good Freeview PVR, but that's no good when you still have to switch to a different interface for some channels.

I care not about banner ads... they're invisible to any seasoned web user anyway.

And hey this opens up the possibility of paying to NOT see ads at some point in the future, just like you might get a free mobile app with ads or pay a couple of quid not to.

Never likely to see that on e.g. Sky's technology.

For those who are unhappy about more ads... I would expect the other providers are aware of such revenue streams and busily working on options to get it to eyeballs. Their next-gen tech will not ignore it.

They work slower than Google though.

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Trek fans served Enterprise-grade pastry slicer

Neil_

importing...

they *still* haven't sorted out UK distribution!

That's rubbish. I'd buy loads of stuff from thinkgeek if it didn't cost so much for postage, duty, VAT and the commissions for paying them...

I occasionally hear about someone going to set up a UK distributor, or a bulk-buy scheme, but they never seem to actually happen...

I guess the bulk-buy 'ship a crate per month' plan is more hassle than it's worth.

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Group Test: smartphone satnav apps

Neil_
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Googlemaps route planning

You can use GoogleMaps on the web to plan your route in detail - dragging the little markers to add waypoints or avoid particular roads, then save it to 'My Maps', open it in GoogleMaps on the phone and then navigate it.

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Microsoft's FUD goes mobile

Neil_

Pick on little HTC...

What about the Nexus One?

Not trying to pick on bigger boy Google, then...

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HTC Desire

Neil_
Go

AR and iTunes

Yes it handles Layar, Wikitude and all the others on the Android Market just fine.

RE being 'married to iTunes', Doubletwist is very probably the solution - not tried it but it supports Android and I've only heard good things of it.

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TalkTalk kills Tiscali

Neil_
WTF?

webmail

Still having webmail problems.

Works fine from home, or on my phone via imap, but using a browser at work shows up someone else's email address prefilled. These other addresses work at the same place I do. We don't share NT profiles, so TalkTalk must be storing them by outgoing IP somehow.

After I overtype the address, I can't login from Firefox. I can from IE, and I can from a new Firefox profile. So they're up to something rubbish with cookies/source IP addresses/sessions.

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Sony readies family-friendly internet access gadget

Neil_
Badgers

If it's in the kitchen...

...does it show the same thing that's on the telly in the lounge so I don't miss anything whilst I'm making a cuppa?

That's the only use I can think of for it.

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Toshiba unwraps Cell TV

Neil_
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So...

is a software 'cell' upscaler better than all other hardware upscalers that are in Sky boxes and HDTVs everywhere now?

If not, it better be cheaper than buying a separate 'proper' upscaler box.

And the price upgrade wants to be less than a PS3. It can use a cell for upscaling DVD, freeview, youtube...

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No more dirty phone calls

Neil_
Thumb Up

Mythbusters...

found that a toilet seat is relatively clean.

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Ericsson calls on carriers to out-app-store Google

Neil_
FAIL

Great

So if I'm looking for an app I can't just look in one place, I have to check 2+ stores?

How does this benefit the consumer?

It's not like Google's market has draconian policies or exorbitant fees...

I could see how manufacturers might want to tie (dumb) developers into making apps that run only on their skinned version of Android, but that wouldn't apply to carriers...

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